When I was planning my wedding, I had about 30 different Pinterest boards going. Everything from hairstyles for the bridesmaids to laser cut invitation options to napkin folding techniques. I had the perfect wedding laid out on my computer browser, and I was so excited to get started making it a reality.
After hiring our wedding planner (which I highly recommend, by the way. It allowed me to actually relax and enjoy the day), the first thing on my list was finding a venue. I knew I wanted to spend the entire day at the same place so I wouldn’t have to worry about transportation taking precious space in our timeline. I scoured The Knot and Wedding Wire looking for a venue near us or in my home state, and nothing was *quite* right. If I loved the venue, they either A) didn’t have a bridal suite or B) didn’t have one that I liked.
We ended up touring about 6 venues before we chose ours. Everything about it was perfect. I wanted to get married in a gazebo - they had it. I wanted an indoor reception space, preferably a barn - they had it. I wanted twinkly lights and draping from the rafters - they had it AND it was included in the site fee. I was sold. That is, until they gave us a tour of their bridal suite. I had imagined myself getting ready in a bright, sunlit dressing room with a giant mirror, me and all of my bridesmaids in matching blush robes, popping champagne and laughing (Cliche? Yes. Fun? You betcha.) When I walked in, my heart sank. I immediately knew there was no way in hell I was getting ready in this so-called “bridal suite.” It was basically a never-lived-in AirBNB one bedroom apartment filled with mismatched Ikea furniture. But I loved the venue so much, and I knew that no venue was ever going to be *perfect*, so I decided I’d deal with it and we booked our date.
I spent the next month talking it over with my Mom and weighing our options. Should I just suck it up and get ready in their bridal suite? The AirBNBs in the area were either small, dark, or poorly decorated, so that wasn’t going to work. There’s the hotel down the road… that’s always an option, I guess. But 9 women in one room sounded like a nightmare. Maybe we get ready further away? There’s some decent BNBs closer to the city… I shuddered at the thought. Not only would that mean we would need to arrange for transportation and wake up an hour earlier, but so many things could happen on the journey to the ceremony and I simply did not want the added stress. What the hell am I supposed to do now?
Having a background in production and set design, I know how important location is. Location and background will make or break your photos. Anyone with an Instagram can tell you that. I was bummed at the choices in front of me and starting to regret booking the venue at all. But this was my WEDDING DAY! I had dreamt about this day since I was a little girl and everything was going to be EXACTLY how I wanted it, come hell or high water. So we decided I would put my set design skills to use and transform a nearby AirBNB into the bridal suite of my dreams.
I began collecting pieces to create my shabby-chic/french provincial tearoom vibe and fell in love. Normally, I am limited to one studio of mismatched furniture and needing to create different looks from the same 5 couches and coffee tables. But this was FUN. I was designing a set without limitations for the first time and no one else was telling me how to do it. As my search for vintage finds went on, I found so many beautiful pieces that I adored but didn’t fit my aesthetic. Too boho, too rustic, too glam. I saved them anyway. Just in case.
The big day was fast approaching and I had a 10x10 storage unit full (like, stacked to the ceiling full) of furniture and decor items. My fiancé jokingly said it looked like we’d robbed an old lady, but I couldn’t wait to see it all come together. We hauled a moving truck up to our venue, three hours north of Los Angeles. But first, we had to make one more stop to complete my bridal suite. We picked up a 150 lb, 8’x5’ mirror and my (now) husband has never given me a more incredulous look than he did when he saw what insanity he was about to marry. Not that he couldn’t tell from the wedding prep, but this was really the cherry on top.
I woke up on the morning of my wedding so happy. I stepped out into the living room, elated with what I had created. My bridesmaids and our moms and sisters gushed over how special it felt. The morning really set the tone for the whole day. I had a grazing board and mimosa bar catered and everyone got their hair and makeup done… it was like throwing the fanciest, most grown up slumber party/brunch. I adored seeing everyone enjoy themselves and as I soaked it all in, I was filled with gratitude that my Mom and husband made it happen for me. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was.
However, when the photographer arrived, I immediately jumped into production mode, telling my Mom and Maid of Honor to clear the Starbucks cups and plates from breakfast off the counters. I didn’t want to pull a Game of Thrones in my wedding album! And while I knew they were there to support me and help me through my day, I still felt awkward asking them. Because, while my Maid of Honor was amazing and would do anything I asked, I HAD TO ASK. I just wished someone had been there to pay attention to these tiny details FOR me. And then I realized that I could BE that person for other people. And so, Suite Dreams Bridal was born.
On the morning of your wedding, you are mentally, physically, and emotionally preparing for a huge milestone. You've spent months planning and every moment of the day should feel special. You want to feel relaxed and pampered while you get ready, not cramped in one hotel room with eight other women. You shouldn't have to be the one worried about the timeline, or whether or not your Maid of Honor is steaming the dresses, and certainly not asking your Mom to clean up coffee cups and purses so they don't ruin the background of your pictures. No matter what it is you want for the morning of your special day, I will do everything in my power make it happen for you because every bride deserves a perfect morning to start the biggest day of her life. And trust me when I say, no request is “too much” because you can’t shock the ultimate "bridezilla".